The tides of change are sweeping into the fear-drenched hearts of many. Marriage equality is inevitable. Full entrance into the world, with all the privileges realized by the dominant culture is arriving. The time is here. We can no longer wait for justice, we can no longer hope for acceptance.
Eye See Change!
Any notions of reparation treatment, or declaring them an ‘abomination’ needs to be long forgotten. We simply have no time for that rhetoric any longer. We need to reclaim what is sacred, opting for interpretations that include, that represent and reflect all of God’s good creation.
What about the church?
The Church can either make the necessary adjustments or die. It is that simple. With more and more claiming LGBT+ equality midst less and less entering sanctuaries now more than ever, the Church needs to rethink itself.
The Church has been here before. It can use its own past errors to learn – to restore. The Churches’ own history can help it make the immediate and necessary changes it needs…. if of course, it is interested in being relevant in the 21st Century. We must now accept that we are no longer the Church founded on white, male, heterosexual, euro-centric notions – we must step boldly into being the fullest expression of God as God created.
Even Jesus needed to change…
In Matthew 15: 21-28, we are given the story of a Canaanite woman who came crying to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, Son of David!” Remember? She was the one who came to him seeking healing for her daughter. Jesus “answered her not a word.” If you are like me….in reading this, surely you immediately become confused. Jesus ignoring her plea? This does not sound like the Jesus I know…
Even his disciples “urged him to send her away.” Jesus, hearing her and listening to his disciples said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus seems to be choosing to see that his mission is only the lost Jews, not a Canaanite woman in need. But she is not stopped…
Worshiping him she said, “Lord, help me!” Then Jesus said, in some of the harshest words possible, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Jesus was calling her a dog? He was treating her like she was a nobody; like she was beneath the others?
But she did not back down. She then said, “Yes, Lord, yet even dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
With that Jesus was astounded. He then answered her, “Oh woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”
Jesus seems to be testing this woman. Goading her on to demonstrate her faith? Sometimes I think this is what it must be like for our LGBT+ brothers and sisters… Might they feel like we goad them on? Don’t we require something of them, either celibacy or reparation in order to be determined … ‘clean’ or ‘worthy of leadership’? Don’t some of us judge their ‘re-born status’ like somehow being gay and Christian is impossible?
At first He ignores her request which seems to feed into the very strong prejudice that the disciples had towards Canaanites. Perhaps we too, when we use the bible in a literal way (despite there being evidence to the contrary) we are choosing to damn them over loving? Perhaps we too are acting from a ‘strong prejudice’?
This woman’s perseverance. This woman’s faith. She does not let go of Jesus. She does not let go of her faith. She holds on in the face of opposition and she is given what she desires. Today Proposition 8 is being revisited. Tomorrow Defense of Marriage Act is being reconsidered too. We are given a chance to repeal our past actions, we are given a chance, like Christ, to rethink our beliefs and attitudes. Like Jesus, we can turn from our mistakes, we can repent and say, “let it be as you desire.”